After a month of fasting and abstinence, and enjoying bowls of fruit, dates and haleem at night during the holy month of Ramzan, Hyderabad on Wednesday evening began to gear up for Eid-ul-Fitr.

As soon as the first siren was sounded from atop masjids, Muslims broke their fast on the iftar dastar and then proceeded for Maghrib (evening prayers). The second siren went off signalling that it was chand raat (Eid eve).

Chand Mubarak greetings were exchanged. Social media too was abuzz with Chand Mubarak messages and similar greetings.

At homes, the mood was already festive. Tables were laid, shelves were cleaned and crockery was readied in anticipation of guests for Thursday. Dry fruits such as almonds and pistachios that were soaked overnight in water were then fried. They will be used as garnish for the quintessential Eid delicacy — sheer khurma.

“We were fasting for a month and now is the time for celebration. Eid brings the whole family together. Aunts, uncles and cousins come over and have lunch or dinner together. Breaking bread with the family is a different feeling,” said Parvin Fatima, an educator.

Chief Minister A. Revanth Reddy extended Eid greetings to Muslims. “Ramzan festival propagates the importance of service to the people and denotes the significance of secularism and religious harmony. The religious practice of strict fasting, disciplined prayers, charity to the poor in the name of Zakat and Fitra during the holy month of Ramzan, when the holy book of the Quran originated, stands as a role model for mankind,” Mr Reddy said in a statement.

He added that Telangana continues to be a symbol of “Ganga Jamuna Tehzeeb” and the State government has given priority to the welfare and development of Muslim minorities. “The newly elected State government already laid the foundation stone for the Metro Rail project in the Old city of Hyderabad and enhanced budget outlay for minorities welfare. Lands have been identified to construct permanent minority residential schools,” he stated.